• Roger James Kuhns
  • George H. Shaw


The US transportation sector is responsible for 30% of the US total emissions. There are over 253 million cars on the road, and their fuel efficiency averages only 23.6 miles per gallon. This is 13.2 mpg less than the average car in China. A key part of a transportation policy is the strengthening of CAFE standards for gasoline, natural gas, and diesel vehicles. A more important move is the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles. Key challenges for electric vehicles are battery storage and driving distance. But breakthroughs are occurring on a regular basis, and driving distances of over 300 miles per charge are being achieved. This is also important in the application of zero emissions to buses used for public transportation. Natural gas or hydrogen-powered passenger cars do not seem to be reasonable alternatives, due to infrastructure challenges and safety (see Chapter 4). The continued development of biofuels and synfuels to bridge the gas to electric transition gap remains an important aspect of a transportation policy.

Automobiles dominate the transportation sector and will do so in the near and midterms. The transportation sector is responsible for nearly 30% of total US emissions, and of that 30%, nearly 60% is from cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. These vehicles yield the bulk of the GHG emissions (Fig. 3.1). An average of nearly 1 pound of carbon dioxide is emitted per mile traveled in US passenger vehicles. Rail, on average, is less than half in emissions and can be significantly improved with the greater use of clean energy-powered microgrids and electric trains.


Gasoline Diesel Battery Electric vehicle Greenhouse gas CAFE Hydrogen Fuel cell Hydrogen economy Climate change Natural gas Biofuel Tar sand/oil sand Syncrude Carbon dioxide Ethanol Synthetic fuel 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger James Kuhns
    • 1
  • George H. Shaw
    • 2
  1. 1.SustainAudit, LLCMysticUSA
  2. 2.Geology DepartmentUnion CollegeSchenectadyUSA

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